Diamond Schmitt, part 2: mixed-use building in Buffalo tops off

The ceremonial final steel beam has been hoisted into place atop a 12-storey commercial tower in downtown Buffalo. The US $110-million building designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects for Uniland Development Company will serve as an urban beacon at the crossroads of an expanding entertainment corridor.

“A contemporary design of transparency with a unique curvilinear façade that rounds the intersection of Delaware and Chippewa Streets will distinguish this building as a new landmark in Buffalo,” says Martin Davidson, a principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The building will contain 300,000 square feet of commercial space, including double-height, street-level retail, a national brand hotel, class-A office space and covered parking.

A swift pace of construction saw the skeletal steel frame erected in just 85 days this spring and summer.

To view a 90-sec time lapse of its progress, you can visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnmBfKhxGJ8  

“The city is experiencing a Renaissance, and we need to meet the demands of today’s enterprises with product like this to continue that progress,” says Michael Montante, Uniland VP. Buffalo-based entertainment and hospitality giant Delaware North Companies will be the anchor tenant and occupy 110,000 square feet.

Taking inspiration from the existing heritage characteristics in the vicinity, the facades above the second floor will incorporate modern terra-cotta cladding to create a visual bridge between the historic buildings and contemporary urban fabric. The hotel portion of the building is planned for levels two through five. The office section of the building will comprise levels six through 12.

“This will be a green building with a low carbon footprint,” says Davidson. Solar shading devices will minimize heat gain and glare. High-efficiency mechanical and electrical systems will conserve energy. The building is registered for USGBC LEED Silver certification for building core and shell. Completion is scheduled for summer 2015.

Project architect Antra Roze describes the design process in detail, including recreating terra-cotta details from a previous building on the site, and presents an overview of the transformation underway in this architecturally-rich city in this 23-minute video: www.dsai.ca/videos-podcasts  


Diamond Schmitt Architects (https://www.dsai.ca/) is a leading full-service architectural firm based in Toronto with an international reputation for design excellence and sustainable design solutions. An extensive portfolio includes academic buildings, libraries, performing arts centres, sports facilities, master plans, and residential and commercial buildings. Equally extensive is work completed for the healthcare sector, with life science facilities, research laboratories and hospitals.